From publisher blurb:
Conflict and war have existed from the moment humanoids took their first breaths. While some have been blessed with claws and teeth that rend and tear, most humanoids have had to design weapons to defend themselves and claim their place in the world. No weapon is older or more primal than the body, no weapon subject to more refinement.
Humanoids have always learned from what they see and experience in their environment. It is no surprise that the lethal grace of animals common to their cul- tures influenced the development of many unarmed fighting styles. The speed and power of the tiger, the ferocity of the boar, and even the majesty and over- whelming force of the dragon are themes incorporated into the martial arts of cultures spread widely across race and geographic region.
In a world saturated with fantasy, where great sorcer- ies shake the land and extraplanar creatures are but a summons away, it should come as no surprise that the dragon is not the only supernatural beast to inspire the martial imaginations of the world’s inhabitants. Collected here is but a sample of the rare fighting tech- niques developed throughout the civilized (and not-so- civilized) world. More martial mysteries certainly exist, but this compilation highlights six unique and dead- ly fighting styles – Cockatrice, Couatl, Doppelganger, Manticore, Peryton, and Phoenix.